A reader discovered that a towel in her spare bedroom was serving as a home to thousands of tiny larvae. At least, she thinks the creatures are larvae. She has never seen these specimens before, and wants to know what they are and the best way to get rid of them if she finds them again. Here are the photos: So, what are these tiny black specimens? We agree with our reader that the little worm-like organisms are larvae. But what kind of larvae are they?
Usually when we hear about larvae living on towels (or bedding, clothing, and other various fibrous materials) we think “Oh! Carpet beetle larvae!” But the photos our reader sent don’t confirm this idea. Carpet beetle larvae are common household pests that feed on animal products (wool, fur, feathers) as well as other materials found around the house. Carpet beetle larvae are small rust-colored or brown specimens (their coloring depends on the species). They have tiny hairs protruding from their segmented bodies. As you can see, the larvae our reader found don’t look anything like carpet beetle larvae. So, if these aren’t the normal larvae we find on towels, what are they?
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We think they are probably some species of fly larvae. For reasons unknown to us, flies sometimes lay their eggs in strange, nontypical environments. Washing the infested towel with laundry detergent on a hot cycle should kill any remaining larvae and eggs. After washing the towel, she should dry it as she normally would. We think it is very odd that these larvae were only on one particular towel. It might be worth it for our reader to investigate around the towel, to see if there are any potential food sources that attracted the creatures to the location.
In conclusion, a reader from Flint, Michigan found larvae covering a red towel in her home. These creatures are likely fly larvae.
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